Workshop of Andrea Pisano, The Liberal Arts

Workshop of Andrea Pisano
Original location
Giotto's bell tower, east side, second register
Marble, ceramic, enamel pigments
Sculpture, modelling, enamelling
Height: 86 cm ca.; Width: 63 cm ca.; Thickness: 12 cm ca.;

Marble reliefs from the workshop of Andrea Pisano (1343-1360) depicting Astronomy, Music, Geometry, Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic and Arithmetic. A series  of allegorical representations of the liberal arts, the range of subjects taught in medieval universities; medieval Florence’s first university, the Studio Fiorentino founded in the 14th century, was in fact very close to the Cathedral. Here the Arts are represented by female figures characterizing each discipline. Astronomy holds an astrolabe, an astronomical instrument used to locate the stars. Music holds a lyre, Geometry a set square and a compass. Grammar brandishes a birch rod at his pupils. Rhetoric, the art of writing and speaking, is armed with a shield and a sword to symbolize the force of well-reasoned argument. Logic holds a pair of scissors, symbol of rigorous method. Arithmetic counts on her fingers.

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